Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Deciphering GMAT

GMAT is an interesting yet complex test. It tests your academic ability in quantitative, verbal (not exactly verbal as this means speech) and writing skills. When it tests your ability, it adapts to your ability too. Difficulty or easy is a perception but the test will score you accordingly.

As you should know by now, GMAT starts with 2 Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA) essays of 30mins each, 75mins Quantitative and 75mins Verbal. Between each major components, an optional 10-min break.

The 3 Components of GMAT

(Color scheme corresponds to color of the Official Guide book, except for AWA)

The above sub-components are self-explanatory and the respective books will elaborate more.

Many of you wonder how the components fit together. As far as Quant and Verbal as concerned, you are tested on different abilities. However, for Verbal and AWA, there is a relationship. This diagram explains the inter-relationship.

See the connections? As you prepare for Verbal (Sentence Correction, Critical Reasoning), take note of what you are learning, how each of the sub-topics relates and how you will apply them in AWA and Reading Comprehension. The above inter-relationship is just a guidance. Look into past questions in the Official Guide - Verbal or GMAT Review and observe the common themes and angle of questioning.

While AWA does not affect your Total Score, AWA is still important and should not be taken lightly. How you write and score in AWA tells about the other aspects of you not measured by Quant and Verbal tests. Adcomms can request for your AWA essays and compare with your application essays. Thus, your writing style is revealed and matched.

Jimmy Low

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